DofE Gold residential: Learn a language abroad

If you love to travel and see the world, we have a great way to to fulfil your DofE residential requirement. Our holiday language learning programmes take you to a foreign country where you can live in a host family or residence and study the local language with other students from around the globe.

EF Languages Abroad

10 - 18 years
2-24 weeks
Learn a language abroad in an all-inclusive group led by an EF Leader or on an individual, flexible-length course.
Destination: FranceSpainCosta RicaItalyGermanyJapanKorea

EF Languages Abroad

18 - 25 years
2-24 weeks
Learn a language faster at an accredited EF school. Choose from 10 languages in 50 destinations. Start your course any Monday.
Destination: FranceSpainCosta RicaItalyGermanyJapanKorea

About the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential

The Duke of Edinburgh (D of E or DofE) is a youth awards programme designed to empower young people and help them build confidence and resilience. It has three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. All levels include a volunteering, skills, physical and expedition section. However the Gold level has an additional section: a residential stay. 

The main requirements of the Residential stay are:

  • Takes place in a residential setting away from home and in an unfamiliar environment
  • Is a minimum of 5 days and 4 nights spent away
  • Is part of a specific course or shared activity that gives you the opportunity to broaden your interests and experiences
  • Includes both daytime and evening group activities
  • Must be done with an organised group, registered charity or approved provider

You can read the full list of requirements here.

How does EF's programme fulfil the DofE requirements

When you take an EF language learning programme, you travel to one of our schools in a foreign country such as Spain, France, Italy, Germany or Costa Rica, and study the local language. You will also participate in a broad variety of after-school and evening activities, designed to help you experience the local culture and make new friends from around the world.

So how does this fulfil the DofE requirements?

  • Duration: EF programmes are 2 weeks or longer
  • Residence: You can choose to stay with a host family or live in a residence with other students
  • Unfamiliar environment: you'll be living a foreign country, amongst other students from around the world
  • Specific course: you will be enrolled in a language learning course and improving your language skills
  • Activities: EF organises extensive daytime and evening activities

At EF we have been running residential programmes since 1965, and have long believed in the DofE residential ethos: that spending time away from home and learning something in a new environment is a great way to grow personally, broaden your horizons and have a great time!

Frequently asked questions

Do you have to do residential Gold DofE?

Yes, a residential stay is a requirement for the Gold DofE.

How long is DofE Gold residential?

The DofE residential has to be at least 5 days and 4 nights spent away from home. Ideally these should be consecutive, though there are exceptions. EF's language learning abroad programme is 2 weeks, so easily satisfies the requirement.

Can you do Gold DofE residential with a friend?

Yes, it is possible to do the Gold DofE residential with a friend, but it is important that you be joining a larger group of unrelated individuals. Fortunately this is the case with EF's language learning abroad programme, where you will be studying with individuals from around the world.

When does EF run their language learning abroad programmes?

Our schools run year round, so you can attend our programme any time of year. Most schools have intake days every Monday. The minimum course length is 2 weeks, but for longer holidays (such as the summer), many students like to stay for 3 to 6 weeks.

Where do other students on the EF programme come from?

EF has offices in over 50 countries, so your classmates will be from around the world: Brazil, Japan, Italy, Sweden, the USA, and more. Our students love the international atmosphere and the opportunity to learn about different countries and cultures.

What activities does EF offer outside of the classroom?

Every EF school has a dedicated Activities Manager who organises a wide variety of daytime and evening activities. There is always something to do! Activities vary by destination: you might hit the beach in Nice or Malaga, explore an art gallery in Paris or Tokyo, or go to a concert in Berlin. Evenings include group dinners, BBQs, cinema outings and school parties.

What residence options does EF offer?

Most of our schools offer both a host family or residence option. Host family is a great way to experience full immersion language learning, as you will be interacting with your host family in the local language, in day-to-day interactions and at mealtimes. Residences offer more independence and flexibility. It is very much a matter of personal preference.

What is your cheapest DofE residential course?

Most of our schools have similar pricing, but the flight cost will be different depending on how far away the school is. For UK students, a flight to France will be much cheaper than a flight to Costa Rica or Tokyo. All of our schools also offer different course types, with the basic course usually being the cheapest.